Pune boasts of many famous and iconic structures and organisations like Simla Office, NCL, Aayuka, Pune University, etc. But sadly, many people do not visit these places even once, even after living in Pune for many years. This is seen not only in Pune, but in cities all over India. The tour guides take tourists to the famous destinations, give information about the attractions and move on to a different part of the city.The school trips are somewhat similar, but happen in a more systematic manner. In the end, the field trips end up becoming nothing more than a yearly duty. However, if one wants the trip to be meaningful, s/he needs to view every trip with a different perspective, even if it is a local trip, a trip outside the city, state or the country. A new business of tourism was started by the name, ‘Embark Journeys’, when Mr. Devendra Sasne first thought of planning such meaningful trips. Let us get to know the journey of Mr. Devendra Sasne and Embark Journeys which started around 2-3 years ago.
Mr. Devendra Sasne was the son of Mr. Bharat Sasne, a collector at the Indian Administrative services, who later gained popularity as an author. Mr. Devendra had to travel abroad frequently for more than ten years, as he was a Pilot by profession. But, he wanted to settle down in India and start his own business after serving a few years in the field of aviation. Everyone was surprised when they got to know of his decision of leaving aviation and becoming a businessman, because of his reputed job profile and a good salary. But he wanted to do something different. His family gave their unconditional support to him, too. Most Marathi families want their children to study well and get a reputable job, preferably out of India, which pays a good salary. But upon expressing the desire to start a business, instead of giving the much needed support, an individual is usually demotivated. On the contrary, Mr. Devendra received great support from his family which is commendable as well as important to acknowledge.
Mr. Devendra decided to start a business in the field of tourism, as he had had the opportunity of travelling to a lot of places due to his previous job. After deciding on starting a business in the field of tourism, he realised that he must explore new concepts and implement new ideas in this business. He knew of ‘theme tourism’ and ‘concept tourism’ after travelling abroad. He realised that such concepts need to be developed in our country as well. Most of the tour packages offered by different travel agencies are somewhat similar in nature. Mr. Devendra had observed that Indians who went to other countries formed their own small groups. Such groups helped in maintaining a sense of comfort and security among the people. However, this prevents them from stepping out of their comfort zones. If one wants to experience the local cuisine, culture, lifestyle and the important places, it is important to step out of his/her comfort zone. One must get into the habit of stepping out of his/her comfort zone from an early age. Only then will these experiences become a very fond memory for us and help guide us throughout our life. Once we experience a lot of things in life, we start to see new career opportunities everywhere. These days, an increasing number of students are opting to pursue their education and career in foreign countries. Therefore, Mr. Devendra decided to give more attention to educational trips and tours.
Mr. Devendra thought about the places where he could organise such trips. He planned the trips in a way that ensured that the students would get to learn new things and have fun at the same time. He also made sure that their parents and schools would be okay with such trips. He gave special attention to ensuring the safety and comfort of the students. He started contacting different schools and educational institutes by keeping all these factors in mind.
Every entrepreneur has to face oppositions while doing something out of the box. Mr. Devendra had to experience this in the early days of his business, too. He talked to people about his new idea. While some liked and appreciated his initiative, others raised questions on this completely new concept of tourism. Some ridiculed his idea of planning such educational trips, but Mr. Devendra was firm and confident with his decision and kept approaching different schools with his ideas.
Generally, every business starts out at a slow pace, especially when it utilizes a completely new and foreign concept. Mr. Devendra realised that the progress and success of the business depends on the way an entrepreneur presents his ideas to the public. He provided leaflets with detailed information in schools and colleges. He also made sure to explain the reasons behind the considerably expensive fee of his tours in detail. This helped him gain the trust of the parents and the schools. The children were able to go to such trips due to the trust that he had successfully established.
So far, Embark Journeys has organised 8 trips. Among them only 1 trip was organised in India, while the other 7 trips were organised in foreign countries. There are around 30 students in each trip, and Mr. Devendra accompanies the students in all the foreign trips himself. A modern tracking system is used to keep track of every student on the tour. Be it a tour in a place in India or in a foreign country, a visit to the important organisations of the region is an important part of the tour. Embark Journeys ensures that the students know all about the organisations, by inviting the experts or the people working at the organisations to give information about the internal workings of the organisation. Then, they share information about the opportunities for future education and jobs in that particular field. People always appreciate the cleanliness observed in foreign countries. But the importance of it is lost while in our own country. Everyone should understand that ‘India is my country’ is not just a sentence in the pledge of India, but something that we all should implement in our daily lives. It is a sentence which everyone should respect. Everyone should understand the importance of cleanliness and that it is their responsibility to look after it as individuals. People in the foreign countries know this and thus, every individual makes sure to keep his/her country clean, as a responsible citizen. Mr. Devendra makes sure that every student understands this while travelling abroad. As a result, the students start to slowly accept this responsibility and inculcate the habit of maintaining cleanliness in their life and their surroundings.
In a business such as this, one does not need to worry too much about capital. The fees of the trip are already paid in advance. But, what needs to be learnt and kept in mind is that an effort needs to be made in order to make every trip as enjoyable and filled with new knowledge and wisdom as possible, by implementing new, innovative ideas in the tours. However, to do this, it is important to have an interest in these things before organising such events as well. Those who understand the importance and affordability of such concepts are considered as potential customers. One needs to keep in mind that in the beginning, people may not have an interest in such concepts or even understand them. Therefore, it is advisable to be patient till you receive the expected response.
One can start a business in the field of tourism with a unique concept in India, or even in Maharashtra. However, as mentioned earlier, one should have an adequate knowledge about the field before starting the business. One should be willing to learn and experience new things. One should think about different ways to generate a sense of curiosity about these new ideas and concepts in the minds of people.
Mr. Devendra started his venture as a business as well as for social purposes. Therefore, it is not necessary to think about the profits earned through this business. This business has yet to achieve a proper stability. Therefore, it will take some time to get to the break-even point. The business is prospering and getting a good response from the people, even if it is progressing at a slow pace. Mr. Devendra is confident that the business of Embark Journeys will soon achieve massive success and flourish.
Originally Published in Yashashwi Udyojak. Subscribe Today.